Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lsylvain, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    boy I wish Ferris could bring their prices down a bit and get a little more comfotable control system. Just look at the ferris compaired to the exmark and toro. Just looking at it you can tell you can use and abuse her. I have a fixed deck 36" and it is a mean machine. I have actually thought about buying a larger deck for it, but never have.



  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Ferris is all we run...buy a lot of them like we do and the price gets better. :)
  3. Dashunde

    Dashunde LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 628

    Ferris has the sulky-pulling wb down to a science.
    Everything that you notice in the pics contributes to their outstanding hill ability, all with the power and stability to pull a sulky through those conditions.

    Fluid Film the linkage, get it broke in, and the pistols are plenty comfy AND they are not twitchy at all.
    All these companies keep trying to re-invent the control systems for wb's, the fact is that the pistol set-up is really the only system that you can bring all of your weight and muscle into play to supplement control, aid traction, pop a wheelie, bring a wheelie down, or any of the other trickery that pistols allow.

    Although the ESC controls are pretty good, I find that they put my hands too close together and it reduces the leverage I have over it.
    It's also pretty touchy/twitchy for my taste.
    I do like the tracking knob quite alot though.

    Ferris are all purpose built and well thought out, they left old-school pistols on it for a reason.
  4. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    I actually don't own a Ferris it is a Derby which is a ferris painted green and sold for less because it is a homeowners model. I campaired mine with a ferris before I baught it and there was not a single difference in the strudyness of the machine. It is a hydro but it does not have independent wheel motors. On each handle bar there is a thumb control push it forward for forward and you guessed it back to go into reverse. Although it uses disk breaks to turn it still turns better than a belt drive because you have the instant reverse and the speed is controlled with your thumbs. What makes me nervouse about all the other mowers out there is I spend a lot of time on steep hills, with my Derby I can control the speed instantly and never have to take my hands off the machine. I understand that you can slow the machine down with the hand controls on the new ones but the part I am thinking about is when I have to turn back on the hill. With my current mower I get to where I have to turn come to a complete stop then I can lock up the upper tire and pivit the machine around for the next pass. With the dual drive hydros they way I understand it you can't really "lock up" the upper tire. You can stop the tire but if you squeeze to hard it is going into reverse not hard enough and it is going to go forward. Forward isn't so bad, but I am picturing being in the middle of the turn where the mower is directly up hill from you and squezing that lever to hard and having it come back on you.
    I guess my question is why the heck don't they use the thumb controls on the dual drive hydros? The only thing I can imagine is that your thumbs get tired and you will get blisters the first week you use it but once the muscels in you thumbs that you never use get toughened up a bit you are fine. And tracking would take a while to get used to, It would run just like a ZTR, get a fixed sulkie with caster wheels and you got a ZTR.
  5. YotaNate

    YotaNate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I have a Ferris 48" Hydrowalk DD. I'm not happy at all with it. Yes, it will go anywhere, while pulling me happily along. Up, down, sideways, backwards, it does it all. But it just doesn't cut the grass good here. Unless you are only knocking an inch or less off the top, it leaves streaks and stingers. Dealer can't figure out the problem, and since it is my only mower, I can't leave it for extended periods of time. I've tried 3 different blades, keep them sharp, belts tights. It still leaves a TON of stringers. And I have to go slow, or it gets real bad. I won't buy another Ferris, until the deck design gets better.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Have you checked the pitch? I had a similar ferris machine years ago and it was great, tall stuff no problemo.
  7. YotaNate

    YotaNate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I've pitched it up, down, and level. Also tried cutting from 4" down to 2.5". It does better, the lower the deck is. But still not great. I'm hoping to replace it next spring with another 48" WB, but it will either be a Deere or Scag.
  8. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    You said you tried new blades. I noticed that mine would do the same thing with different blades. I don't think the blades are exactly the same size as other mowers. Like my 36"s blades were not exactly 18" there were actually like 18 1/16 wide so if I bought blades that were 18" there was an extra 1/8" space between the blades allowing grass to sneak through. Also if you overtime have a tendancy to sharpen your blades more on the outer edge as I tend to you end up doing the same thing.

    What do you mean by streaks? You may have a bad spindle or one that is not aligned right. ie. you hit something and it got kicked out of possition a little.

    If you dealer can't figure it out, how old is the machine? Tell them to give you a new one if this has been an on going problem, or atleast make them give you a loaner until they do fix it.
  9. YotaNate

    YotaNate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    I should add that it mows great in very nice smooth turf grass. Leaves a beautiful cut and stripe. But 95% of my yards are a mix of Kentucky 31 and weeds ;)

    The mower is a 2006. Brand new this spring, and its done it from day 1. Dealer has not been very helpful, does not have loaners or demos, etc. The blades are 16 1/4" and all the blades I have tried are this length.
  10. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    Heard some news today at the dealer. Ferris is going to bypass distributors and sell factory direct to the dealers. It was bound to happen when Briggs bought them. I would assume the prices will come down some because of the bypass.
    My dealer used to sell Ferris but, the distributor was a bunghole and they had a falling out.
    I think he may carry them again. Next weeks the expo so I guess I'll know more after that.

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